Pac-12, SWAC create educational and basketball scheduling partnership

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. & SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 and Southwestern Athletic (SWAC) Conferences announced today the formation of a basketball educational and scheduling partnership that will feature a first-of-its-kind annual home-and-home series between member institutions.

The men’s and women’s basketball partnership is aimed at creating both a forum for competition, as well as promotion and education around issues of anti-racism and social justice. The partnership is set to begin in Nov. 2022, with six matchups for the initial men’s cycle determined; women’s matchups will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is extremely excited to partner with the Pac-12 for what we truly feel will be a remarkable experience for our student-athletes and 12 member institutions,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “This is a game changer and the opportunity for a collaboration of this significant magnitude has never occurred in the history of HBCU Athletics.  We applaud the Pac-12 and its leadership for having the foresight and vision to put this historical initiative together. The Pac-12 has shown a steadfast commitment towards playing an active role in diversity initiatives and impactful collaborations with HBCUs and this partnership is a win-win for both conferences as our respective missions are closely aligned. The Pac-12 and the SWAC are united in our efforts to expand the positive impact of the game of basketball well beyond the court. We’re excited to get this new venture started and truly feel the best is yet to come.”

“As part of our Pac-12 Impact initiative to find ways to support and promote diversity and inclusion through sport, we could not be more proud to join with the SWAC on this first-of-its-kind initiative. All credit goes to the basketball head coaches and athletics directors from both conferences for wanting to go above and beyond by creating a truly inclusive and meaningful partnership that will help raise awareness of the important role of HBCUs in higher education,” said Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner and Men’s Basketball Sport Administrator Jamie Zaninovich. “On behalf of our membership, coaches and student-athletes, we thank Dr. McClelland and our friends at the SWAC for embarking on this historic initiative with us.”

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Student-athletes will participate in social justice and anti-racism educational components as part of the games. Programming for the student-athletes will be a collaboration between campus leadership from the two participating men’s basketball programs. In addition, campus athletics departments will facilitate private meetings between athletics directors and their respective senior staff as part of the partnership.

“It’s a great opportunity for Colorado, and all Pac-12 student-athletes for that matter, to learn more about the proud history of HBCU schools and what they’ve meant to those that have benefited from the educational experience at these institutions,” said Colorado head coach Tad Boyle.

“We look forward to the competition on the court and furthering the educational process through this endeavor.”

“I could not be more excited about the challenges and unique opportunities presented by the creation of the partnership between the SWAC and the Pac-12,” said Florida A&M head coach Robert McCullum. “We will travel to our sixth Pac-12 opponent during my tenure at FAMU this season, and having spent three years on Oregon’s staff, I know all too well the challenges each team presents; obviously the big difference will come in being able to host Pac-12 teams on our campuses – it doesn’t get any better than that! I also value the many educational benefits our student-athletes will experience from traveling to the respective cities and campuses. Dr. Charles McClelland is to be commended for such an accomplishment.”

As part of the scheduling alliance, programs from each conference will participate in two-year home-and-home series over the course of four years from the 2022-23 to 2025-26 seasons. Six programs from each conference will participate in the 2022-23/2023-24 series, followed by the remaining six programs in 2024-25/2025-26.

Below are the men’s matchups slated for the initial two-year series from 2022-23 to 2023-24. The additional series between remaining men’s programs for 2024-25/2025-26, as well as dates and matchups for women’s programs, will be announced at a later date.

November 10-13, 2022 November 9-12, 2023
Southern at Arizona Texas Southern at Arizona State
Florida A&M at Oregon Grambling State at Colorado
Alabama State at USC Prairie View A&M at Washington State
Arizona State at Texas Southern Arizona at Southern
Colorado at Grambling State Oregon at Florida A&M
Washington State at Prairie View A&M USC at Alabama State